CHRISTMAS WISH: The lucky mascot

This Is Wiltshire: CHRISTMAS WISH: The lucky mascot CHRISTMAS WISH: The lucky mascot

A YOUNG football fan, who put his childhood on hold to care for his mother throughout a long illness, saw his dream of rousing the crowds as Swindon Town’s mascot become a reality on Saturday.

Bailey Shewry was six years old when his mother Lisa was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, T Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a few days before Christmas 2009.

The selfless little boy, now 10, never once complained over the next four years or begrudged his parents being unable to sign him to a football team or drive him to games.

To thank her ‘secret weapon’ to recovery, Lisa, who is now in remission, nominated him for a Christmas Wish. She also enlisted the help of the Adver to show her gratitude to her husband for his unfailing devotion.

On Saturday, the Shewrys received the star treatment at the County Ground with a special tour of the stadium followed by a three-course meal. They also enjoyed VIP tickets to the game against Coventry City.

As for Bailey, he had the opportunity to meet the players and kick the ball around with them before donning the team strip and officially starting the match, which ended in a 2-1 win for Town.

Lisa, 41, from Blunsdon, said her son deserved a wonderful Christmas after the traumatic few years he had experienced, as did her husband.

“My little secret weapon deserves it so much, and daddy too for what has been a tricky few years,” she said. “The treatment was tough, including chemo directly to the spine. It deeply upset Bailey. Needless to say I got a little cranky at times but Dave and Bailey brought joy to my soul.”

Instead of playing with his friends or leading a carefree life like any little boy his age, Bailey stayed by his mother’s side in hospital during her gruelling treatment entertaining and supporting her for hours on end.

His parents are now determined to make up for lost time and allow him to enjoy his young life to the fullest.

“During the summer’s six weeks holiday, while most kids were playing in paddling pools, my Bailey was being dragged to the Oxford radiotherapy departments for three hours every day, and he never once asked why or complained,” said Lisa.

“During the past four years Bailey has been desperate to join the local football team, Blunsdon Colts, but because it takes so much commitment we couldn’t do it.

“I finished my chemo this time last year and was told I was in remission. We signed him up to the Blunsdon Colts a few months ago and he is loving it.

“I wanted to do this for him and for my husband, who became mum, dad, cook, cleaner and school run man.”

Before heading out for a pre-game warm up with the team, Bailey said: “I’m very excited; I’ve always loved football. It was hard when my mum was ill. The best part of today will be seeing the team.”

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